The History of Music Magazines


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A presentation showing the history of music magazines from the 1890's to the present day

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The History of Music Magazines

  1. 1. History of music magazines through the years
  2. 2. When did it all start? • The first issue of Billboard magazine was printed in 1894 but it was in 1936 that it became well known. This gradually evolved into radio airplay and record sales charts (The Billboard charts). TBC provided different music genres and was the foundation for slots on the radio for programmes like ‘American Top 40’. The magazine is aimed at music professionals however, it is available to the general public.
  3. 3. Melody Maker and NME • Melody Maker began in 1926 and covered all aspects of the jazz scene. By the 50’s it had competition from NME which was appealing to more of a younger generation as it had coverage on the up-and-coming rock and roll scene. They both offered weekly information on upcoming record releases. The magazines had newspaper formats but ‘music inkies’ provided detailed coverage of independent label artists not mainstream chart music. A glossy magazine format for Melody Maker was introduced in 1999 and merged with NME in 2000 which are both owned by IPC media.
  4. 4. ‘Fanzines’ • The music fanzine is said to have emerged in the 60s from sci-fi and comic related amateur publications. Crawdaddy and Bompare examples in rock folklore today. The arrival of amateur publications highlights the relationship between music, fan-based creativity and the want to manuscript a‘scene’.
  5. 5. Rolling Stone • In 1967 Rolling Stone magazine was created and documented music as an important partin the culture of youth with reflective articles about music and social change, and the political concerns about music. Rolling Stone was less about factual information and more about the culture of music.
  6. 6. Genre Specific Magazines and Smash Hits • The glossy fortnightly magazine Smash Hits was created in 1978 and was aimed at teens. This magazine is important to the development of music because it covered music in a different way as it was designed as a genre-specific magazine (pop). Kerrang! was introduced in 1981and compared to Smash Hits, it is more of a music orientated magazine. Kerrang!’smonthly competitor is Metal Hammer. In the 90s genre specific magazines were produced, like Mixmag (dance/clubbing music coverage), The Source and Hip-Hop (hip-hop/rap music) and Classic Rock (rock music for an older audience).
  7. 7. The Face • The Face was launched in 1980 by Nick Logan (exeditor for Kerrang! And Smash Hits). The Face was a monthly magazine that offered the colourfullayout of Smash Hits but aimed at as lightly older audience, embracing music and also fashion and lifestyle. The layout consisted of lots of images and detailed articles, pages full of celebrities, musicians, fashion shoots and advertising. This magazine stopped being published in 2004 however it influenced other magazines such as Q magazine, Mojo and Uncut.
  8. 8. Other types of Music Magazines • In 1980 a monthly magazine called Record Collector became available which was filled full of adverts and contained sources of buying and selling music. It started out as a glossy A5 publication but in 2003 it relaunchedin full-colour in an A4 magazine format.
  9. 9. Magazines Today • Since then, magazines have become less popular as nowadays ways to get new information about the music scene is very easy to do. Most people use the internet and magazine’s websites to find everything out. The internet has all the information you need from CD releases to new artists. You can now also use the internet to buy magazines. People can also download music online which effects CD sales and record shops.